Consistency is one of those things that can be a blessing and a curse all at the same time. Have a consistent schedule with a little who has to nap at the same time each day? Better not miss that nap! On the opposite end when consistency is lacking it can start to weigh down a daily routine (or lack there of…)
I find that I fall somewhere in between needing consistency, a routine, and needing to have flexibility. It is this reason that I allowed my daughter (and now son) to wake when they naturally do in the mornings, and nap around the same time. But not on such a rigid schedule that it can’t be changed (and let’s be honest the 2.5 gave up naps months ago!). And, the same is true for bedtime – which is roughly the same time each night, but not set in stone.
Being a SAHM/WAHM (with a very flexible schedule)- I have full control over our schedule, sort of… because as moms we know that you cannot control everything. Sick kiddos, nightmares, random wake-ups, toddler antics and everything else in between happens at least opportune times. For the longest time I longed for a consistent schedule where we got up each day in the same way as the day before and had a consistent plan of activities. I longed for every Monday to be the same as the week before and every Tuesday and so on….
In our house consistency to that extent just doesn’t exist. Not only do we have different out of the house activities throughout the week, but my husband’s schedule rotates in not only in days off, but shifts worked – we shift between daylight and overnights every 4 weeks as well as a rotation in days of the week off. We like to schedule as much as we can around my husband’s schedule, so that the kids get time with daddy- this includes daily activities, outings and meals. It is a result of this schedule, while consistent in how it changes, leads us to a flexible inconsistent schedule in our house.
Until recently I was so frustrated with our family’s inability to develop a consistent schedule, to the point where it would bother me numerous times a week. Then I came to the realization that as long as I had some type of schedule for the day, I could function and be happy. This can be as simple as having a short “to do” list, or one outing/activity planned. As long as there is something on the calendar for the day, I realized I can manage a lot better. I also find it helps to have a few big things for the month planned, like a trip to the zoo, or a date night with the husband. I have also learned to be flexible – I can’t make the same workout schedule each week or have a specific night where I do something – because it changes based on my husband’s availability.
It’s my hope that this year, I can schedule a little more in our day – maybe not down to the minute, or even hour – but at least a few extra activities that we can include within our day (especially during Pittsburgh’s long cold winter months, where we don’t venture out as much). And, maybe even schedule the same day each week for grocery shopping …. now that curbside pick-up is available, it’s really no sweat to take both kids to the grocery store anymore! =)
Where do you fall? Are you someone who needs consistency? Someone who doesn’t like schedules at all? Or do you fall somewhere in between?
What are some non-negotiables in your house when it comes to your daily routine?